Friday, July 31, 2015

Bellingham RV Park, Bellingham, WA

Whatcom Falls
Thursday, July 30, 2015, Bellingham RV Park, Bellingham, WA - 32.6 Miles Today, 7631.6 For the Trip

I got a late start today, but didn't have all that far to go. I stopped at the Nor West RV park, but no sites were available. The Bellingham RV Park is closer to the airport, but since I wanted to go to Wilson Motors (the local Toyota dealer), it was the next choice. I'm in site 47, a full hookup, including cable, for $39.78 with a Good Sam's discount.

After setting up the trailer I headed into Bellingham & Wilson Motors. My service manager was Mike, and I can't say enough good about him. He managed to work me in on a busy day. Wish he decided to transfer to Syracuse!

Lots of good & bad on the oil change. First, it was the least expensive I've had in quite awhile; the bad, like I suspected, I needed rear brakes. Another bad, while they were doing the oil change, they discovered a leaking transmission oil seal. The good - the part is less than $15.00 (although 2 hours of labor). The bad - they don't have one in stock. The earliest they could get one would be Monday, and my space at the RV park isn't available over the weekend. So, I called the Everett Toyota dealer, (my next stop), and they have 2 of the seals, and will schedule me in for 9:00AM tomorrow. I called & have a reservation for 2 days at the Camp Ki RV Resort in Arlington, a few miles north of Everett.

As I said, Mike was an exceptional Service Manager. He took one look at the wash job they did on the RAV4, shook his head & said "They don't know how to hand wash a vehicle"! My towing mirrors and tire on the roof kept it out of the automatic washer. I admit it was still covered with Alaska dirt, but it was streaked, not really cleaned. He made me follow him over to the wash area & proceeded to hand wash the car himself. Did a great job!

On the way back to the campground I stopped at the Whatcom Falls Park. There are a couple of waterfalls in the park, however the low water level doesn't help with photographs. Still, I took a few, including a man made water chute that is screened off to prevent anyone using it. Looks like it would be fun!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

By the time I got back to the campground it was 5:00. I relaxed at the trailer, had a shower in one of the best showers of the trip - lots of room in both the shower & changing area, a bench, plenty of hooks, etc.

Dinner was a chicken sandwich, some taco chips & the rest of the snap peas.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Silver Lake County Park, Maple Falls, WA, Day 2 & Mt Baker

The View Across Picture Lake
Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Silver Lake County Park, Maple Falls, WA, Day 2 & Mt Baker - 0 Miles Today, 7599 For the Trip

An early post. I drove to Mt Baker, having much better luck than the last time I was here in 2012. A partly cloudy day with somewhat harsh lighting, and a light breeze that destroyed the reflective qualities on the lakes most of the time, but still a great improvement. I stopped on the way in at the lake to photograph Mt Baker in the background. I do wish the chopped off reeds were not in the image, but that's the breaks. I then headed to Artists Point. Hard to describe, but beautiful in every direction. I took lots of photos, and will probably work on them more when I get back to the trailer. Right now I'm parked outside the cell tower building and the light is a bit bright to process the images (but, for some reason, I have a strong Verizon signal!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I'm heading back to the campground to relax for the afternoon, then will come back towards sunset for some evening photos.

For those that saw my earlier posting, I have to admit to an error - I called Mt Shuksan Mt Baker. I corrected the titles and added a couple of photos taken later in the evening, as well as a couple of Nooksack Falls. The falls is a tough shoot - you can only see it from the top & it is a long, narrow falls in 3 sections, so it isn't the most photogenic I've seen. It also has a lot less water going over it than in my 2012 photo.

I'm happier with the evening Picture Lake image, but the evening isn't getting much warmer (at least the light) so I'm going to call it a day at 7:00.

A new one for me - on the way down the hill we had a traffic stop because a car commercial was being made on the road. About a 10 minute stop, and as we went by the car it was covered with a black shroud. Must be something new...

Dinner was a frozen pizza, and more snap peas.

Until later -

Silver Lake County Park, Maple Falls, WA

Site 46, Silver Lake County Park
Tuesday, July 28, 2015, Silver Lake County Park, Maple Falls, WA - 183.7 Miles Today, 7599 For the Trip

A very busy day. I got an early start, and pulled into Escape Trailer Industries around 11:45. The drive down CA 1 was beautiful (that's Canada 1, not California 1, which is also beautiful). Ray checked out the bad taillight & assigned a crew to replacing it, starting after lunch. I talked to a couple of couples looking at trailers, trying to decide which one they wanted & what options. I did the same, trying to decide what I would buy if I was shopping now & had a tow vehicle that would tow any of them. My decision? A 19 with the table & bed reversed. I don't know if Escape is still doing that - I know they built a few in the past. I'd rather live with a smaller bed required by the switch (the same size as the one I currently have in the 17B). The standard bed in the 19 is a queen, but moving it to the front would only have enough space for a 3/4 size bed, plenty wide enough for me. It looks like the larger table they use in the 21 & 5.0TA would fit in a reversed 19. Of course I already have the 17B, and am very pleased with it. The only reason for considering a 19 is a full size table AND a permanent bed. That would let 4 people sit at the table during bad weather. We can do 3 in the 17, but 4 doesn't work; in fact, we fit 4 better in the Style 4 16' Scamp.

It took about 1 1/2 hours to replace the taillight. You really have to admire a company like Escape. My trailer is 4 1/2 years old, and they replaced the LED taillight for free, including free labor. They also gave me all the parts (except the cables, which haven't arrived yet, and will be mailed to me when I stop somewhere long enough to get them) for the tie downs for both my solar panels even though they only installed one of them. It isn't because they have a lot of time on their hands - they are building trailers as fast at the plant will let them & they have sold every trailer they can manufacturer for almost a year ahead. If you are considering a fiberglass trailer, I highly recommend Escape Trailer Industries! Great service and an excellent product. They do have expansion plans underway that will cut down the lead time on purchasing a trailer.

After leaving Escape, I crossed into the US at Sumas. A fairly easy crossing; lots of questions about Alaska, and how long it took to get through Canada on the way home, but no problems with food or beer.

I decided to spend a couple of days relaxing at a quiet campground. I found the Silver Lake County Park near Maple Falls just off WA 542 (the Mt Baker Highway). There are three campgrounds in the park, 2 that have water & electric hookups at some sites. I'm in site 46 in the Maple Creek Campground for 2 days, 30 amp electric & water for $30.00 per night.

My last attempt at seeing Artist Point at the end of the Mt Baker Highway ended in failure - it was so fogged in that I couldn't see much past the hood of the RAV4, so I want to try again. Maple Falls is just 35 miles from the end of the highway, so I have a good start. The Mt Baker Ski Area is just before Artist Point, so I put it in my GPS. I'm not sure why, but it insisted I go west on 542 rather than east. I gave up on the GPS & will just follow the road in the morning.

Dinner was a couple of Amy's Burritos; a cheese & a Southwest. I didn't keep track of which was which, but I really liked one of them & thought the other was just OK. I'll have to try one of each again to decide which I like!

Whie I am back in the US so I can use my Verizon Hotspot, there is no cell service at my site (either AT&T or Verizon) so I will have to wait until I am on the road before I can post these. I'll try at Maple Falls in the morning.

Well, no luck at Maple Falls, but I'm posting from close to the end of the Mt Baker Highway. I guess they have cell towers for the skiers at the Mt Baker Ski Area. In any case, I have both AT&T & Verizon service.

Until the next internet connection -

Monday, July 27, 2015

Brookside Campsite, Cache Creek, BC

Site 22, Brookside Campsite

Monday, July 27, 2015, Brookside Campsite, Cache Creek, BC - 268.3 Miles Today, 7415.3 For the Trip

Well, I miss my traveling companions. This is the first day in the last 50 that I haven't been looking at the back end of a Scamp while on the road. Since Anne has been the navigator (it is a pain to read a map, look up campgrounds, etc while driving alone) Don & Anne have always been in the lead. I also miss the dinner conversation, and everything else about my three travel companions. Still, Don has to go back to work, and I promised myself I wouldn't shovel my roof in Oswego this winter, so here I am.

A fairly long haul today, at least compared to our recent drives. I wanted to be in an easy half day drive to Escape Travel Industries in Chilliwack sine I am stopping at the factory to get some parts for the trailer.

I'm in site 22 of the Brookside Campsite in Cache Creek, BC. A very nice campground with full hookups for $35.00. Free showers & working WiFi (Well, working at 1:00PM, however now at 6:45, it is too slow to connect to my site. I'll try later). What more can you ask for? The site picture is the only photo for the day.  I'll add it later since the campground's WiFi isn't taking photos.

Dinner was a couple of brots (I'm trying to finish off the rolls before they get stale), a cup of canned peaches, and steamed snap peas.

Until tomorrow -

Blue Cedar RV Park, Prince George, BC

Sites 107 & 108
Sunday, July 26, 2015, Blue Cedar RV Park, Prince George, BC - 180.2 Miles Today, 7147 For the Trip

I'm starting off today with a recommendation of yesterday's campground, the Shady Rest RV Park in Houston. While the sites are gravel, it is one of the nicest commercial parks we have stayed in. Individual bathrooms with showers, a floor mat & shelf for your stuff (including a vase with real flowers on the shelf). I mentioned road & train noise, but you couldn't hear either inside the trailers. A great trading library for books in the laundry, and good, on site internet.

As to today, I can't say the same. The sites are very shallow - we both had to unhook to fit (and to level), and we are a long walk from the bathrooms. Full hookups for $37.00. Lots of road noise, even in the trailer. We are in sites 107 & 108. While we called in a reservation this morning, they didn't write anything down. I'm glad we got here early since the place has filled up.

This is our last evening together. While we are both heading south on CA 97, Don is staying in Prince George hoping to get an oil change at the local Toyota dealer, and I'm heading out early to try to make Chilliwack by Tuesday. No photos today other than the campsite.

I hope I can post this later. While there are a number of repeaters for the WiFi in the campground, they seem to all be overloaded - I can connect, but they don't assign an IP.

Dinner was sausage & brots, and corn.

Well, it does seem like an overloaded WiFi system.  I managed to post the pages at 3:45AM.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shady Rest RV Park, Houston, BC

Bear Glacier, Rt 37A
Saturday, July 25, 2015, Shady Rest RV Park, Houston, BC - 239.9 Miles Today, 6966.8 For the Trip

We packed up and headed out, stopping at the beer store in Hyder, hoping to find some Alaskan White & Alaskan Amber, but no such luck. By the way, Hyder is an interesting town. Very small fishing town like with few stores, a few tourist gift stores, and a working port. The campground was OK for the price, but far from a resort. Also, Rt 37A, the road between Hyder & Meziadin Junction (Rt 37) is a beautiful drive.  Even if you don't want to see the bears, the drive is worth the time.  If you continue on to Salmon Glacier, it is a fairly rough gravel road, but nothing a standard vehicle can't do (Don's van did fine).

We stopped in Stewart for beer & gas, then headed out. A short roadside stop to photograph a group of waterfalls on the side of a mountain. The photos don't do it justice; a very pretty sight. We also made another stop at Bear Glacier. Anne's guide stated it looked best in the morning so we stopped. Another by the way - it is actually getting dark! I stumbled around the trailer at 11:00 until I turned on a light.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We stopped at the Smithers Riverside park, but all the electric sites were either taken or reserved, so we headed another 40 miles along CA 16 to Houston & the Shady Rest RV Park. A very nice stop, although there is a bit of train & road noise. Beautiful flowers - we bought a home grown tomato, the price of which contributes to the flower fund. We are in sites 47 & 48, full hookups for $31.50.

Dinner will be Bubba Burgers & rice, with a few other leftovers, assuming that we can cook outside. Of course, it is raining!

Until tomorrow -

Camp Run A Muck, Hyder, AK and the Bear Viewing Platform

A Black Bear Chasing Salmon

Friday, July 24, 2015, Camp Run A Muck, Hyder, AK - 178.7 Miles Today, 6726.9 For the Trip

We got an early start. On the way for coffee at the restaurant I took one last batch of photos of the baby swallows. On the drive to Hyder, we stopped for a couple of glaciers along the road, then went through Stewart, BC and crossed the border into Hyder, AK. There is an entrance station going from Hyder to Stewart, but you just drive through to leave Canada into the US. We are in sites 56 & 57 at Camp Run A Muck. Water & Electric for $25.00. The bathrooms & showers are close by. The sites are shallow - Don had to unhook, and I am barely off the road.

After setting up the trailers we drove to Salmon Glacier in Don & Ann's van. I took some photos of the Glacier as well as a stream & some waterfalls on the way. By the time we got back, it was time to try to view the bears feeding. The salmon are running in the river, and the ranger at the entrance booth said there has been at least one bear each day. We paid our entrance fee ($6.00 Canadian) which is good until 10:00PM today.

We were very lucky - two different bears, a female & male (the last two photos). A bald eagle showed up to feed on the bear's leftovers, so I got a couple of photos of that as well.

So, lots of bear photos! I met a couple of people that have been at the bear viewing platform since 9:00AM, so I feel a little guilty having arrived at 5:00 and was able to see all that I did by 6:30, but that's the breaks!

We went back to the trailers for dinner. Since it was raining (of course) Anne put together some soup, left over pork loin, and macaroni & cheese. We polished off the remainder of the blueberry pie for dessert. Don't let anyone say we don't eat well!

Sorry there is no photo today, but the internet is so slow that I couldn't add one, at least  here at the campground.  There are a bunch of them at today's LakeshoreImages page.
  Even that is spotty - Dreamweaver (my page software) says they all uploaded, but I see a bunch of blanks.  I'll try to fix it when I have a better connection.
Until tomorrow -

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tatogga Lake Resort, Iskut, BC

Feed Me!  Feed Me!
Thursday, July 23, 2015, Tatogga Lake Resort, Iskut, BC - 199 Miles Today, 6548.2 For the Trip

After about 1/2 mile on the Alaska Highway, we turned south on the Cassier, Highway 37. We are still going to try to see the bears feeding on salmon in the river at Hyder, but is is a bit further than we want to drive in one day. so we stopped after 199 miles at the Tatogga Lake Resort. The hotel end may be a resort, but the campground has a ways to go. Still, it has level sites (on dirt) with 30 amp electric & water for $26.25. There are free showers (well one men's & one women's) and a restaurant that we will make use of since, as usual, we brought the rain. While it just stopped, it is wet enough that we decided to skip cooking. They have a stuffed bull moose as well as other animals in the lobby of the hotel - This is probably our only bull moose photo. At least he stood still...

There is a swallow nest on the porch of the hotel/restaurant with some chicks - Don & I took a bunch of photos. Other than that, the only other photo is the site picture. It is a bit expanded, because Bob & Joanne (the couple we met yesterday that are traveling in a Scamp) pulled into the campground a bit after we did.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We have not had cell reception since the day before yesterday, but found a pay phone at the hotel. We called Run-A-Muck campground in Hyder & they have room for both of us tomorrow night. That is good because it is a Friday, however it may be bad because the bears (and salmon) haven't yet arrived.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baby Nugget RV Park, Nugget City, YT

A Rest Stop View Along the Alaska Highway
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Baby Nugget RV Park, Nugget City, YT (Mile 650 of the AK Highway) - 172.4 Miles Today, 6349.8 For the Trip

While it was a dry night, we, of course, ran into rain on the drive today. We stopped at a pretty rest stop, but not much else. We wanted to stop early so I could bake a blueberry pie. They were on sale at the Fast Save in Whitehorse, so I bought a 2 lb box.

We pulled into the Baby Nugget RV Park around 1:30. We are in sites 24 & 25, electric & water for $38.75 with a Good Sam discount. The bathrooms & laundry are quite a hike from the sites, but they are fairly level, with lots of room between sites. The site photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.
After setting up, I started making the pie. We found another Scamp in the campground from Illinois, so I invited them for pie after dinner.

Dinner was a pork loin, baked beans & a salad. Our visitors brought vanilla ice cream to go with the pie & we talked Alaska for quite awhile. We will probably run into them again - they are also heading for Hyder to see the bears feed. I hope the salmon are running!

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Johnson Crossing, Teslin, YT

The S. S. Klondike, Whitehorse, Yukon
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, Johnson Crossing, Teslin, YT (Mile 836 AK Highway) - 231.6 Miles Today, 6176.8 Miles for the Trip

We thought about doing breakfast at the Destruction Bay Lodge since we liked the owner & the food, but on second thought, they had a full campground and there was only the owner cooking, so we decided it would be too busy and ate at the Talbot Arms Restaurant. I had French Toast - Not too bad, but the hash browns were a bit strange, and the service so so.

We drove through light rain off & on, and stopped to shop for food at Whitehorse. After shopping, we stopped to take a quick look at the S. S. Klondike, the largest boat to cruise the Canadian part of the Yukon River. After that it was on to Johnson Crossing. It is a small campground along the Alaskan Highway. We are in sites 22 & 23, Electric (15 amp) and Water for $31.50. Free WiFi (at your site for a change) and $1.00 showers for 8 minutes. By the way, I still don't know what the official abbreviation for the Yukon is - so far I've seen YT, YK, YKT. I'll just use the one that appears on the campground receipt! A photo of the "about the S. S. Klondike & the usual site photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The campground has "The World's Best Cinnamon Buns", which are OK, but not the best I've had. Still, a good snack before dinner!

Dinner will be a shrimp & pasta dish made by Anne.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, July 20, 2015

Talbot Arms Motel, Destruction Bay

Only 24 Days Late!

Monday, July 20, 2015, Talbot Arms Motel, Destruction Bay, YK (Mile 1083 AK Highway) - 216.7 Miles Today, 5945.2 Miles for the Trip

We packed up in a light rain (hey, at least we are helping to put out the local wildfires!). Stopped for gas in Tok, then 90 miles later stopped again for gas just before the border (strangely enough, still in Tok). We stopped to photograph the "Welcome to Alaska" and "Welcome to the Yukon" signs that we drove by on the way north.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The border crossing went well (although we didn't reach the Canadian entry station until 20 miles into Canada), then we hit both gravel & dirt sections of the highway. The dirt was pretty slow, and, well, dirty! We actually passed a couple of large Class A's & 5th Wheels once we got to the paved section, not that we were going all that fast. We learned to slow for the flags indicating bumps on the way up the road; those guys just drove 30MPH all the way.

The first plan was to stop at the Cottonwood campground for the night, but it was late enough that we decided to pull into the Destruction Bay Lodge, the place we stayed on the way up the highway. The problem was they had two caravans in the campground & all sites were filled. The owner suggested Cottonwood, we called, and they were also full. When we went next door to the Destruction Bay Lounge for fuel at the Talbot Arms Motel (they have a Fast Plus gas station) we found they had 4 sites available for $12.00 each. Only 15 amp electric only, but it will do. No site numbers, but of course there is a photo. The view from the campsite is of the bay - very nice although there is a tower in the picture...

They also have a restaurant, so that was dinner. Not the greatest meal I've had on the trip - a frozen veal cutlet on pasta that, for some reason, included meat sauce, but it was easier than cooking without a picnic table. Tried a Yukon Amber beer; I still prefer Alaska White.

No WiFi in the camping area, but they say they have it at the hotel. Since we are in Canada, I turned off my data on the iPad & iPhone, and can't use my hotspot. I'll walk over to the hotel to see if I can make today's post. (Obviously, if you see this tonight, I was successful!)

Until tomorrow -

Tundra Lodge RV Park, Tok, & Chicken, AK

The Chicken at the Chicken Gold Camp
Sunday, July 19, 2015, Tundra Lodge RV Park, Tok, & Chicken, AK - 148.3 Miles Today, 5728.5 Miles for the Trip

A littler rain overnight, but not too bad by the time we packed up to leave. We continued on the Richardson Highway to Delta Junction, then on to Tok. We stopped to let Nancy off a few miles before Tok to visit with some friends while we continued to the Tundra Lodge RV Park to set up in sites 29 & 30. Full hookup sites for $35.00.

After setting up the trailers I joined Don & Anne in their van for a trip to Chicken. The story is they named the town Chicken because they couldn't spell Ptarmigan. In any case, Chicken is a town of around 150 that has a long history of gold mining, one of the first strikes in Alaska. We visited the town itself and the Chicken Gold Camp, picking up some souvenirs & a "T" shirt. As much as Chicken is a tourist trap, it is also an interesting piece of history. There are some wonderful old photographs of mining at the entrance to the Chicken Gold Camp Gift Store & the dredge is in good condition. Took lots of pictures - more at toady's LakeshoreImages page.

Since it was around 150 miles round trip to Chicken from the campground, it was dinner time when we got back. Nancy is eating with her friends, so we went to Fast Eddys for pizza. No internet here at the campsite, but they say they have it at the office. No Verizon, at least data. Nancy does have Verizon voice service on her phone. That is the second time since I had my SIM replaced that there has been Verizon towers, but no data connection for my hotspot.  I sure hope is isn't the new SIM!

Until an internet connection -

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"C" Lazy Moose RV Park, Salcha, AK

A Moose, but not "The Moose"
Saturday, July 18, 2015, "C" Lazy Moose RV Park, Salcha, AK - 119.8 Miles Today, 5580.2 Miles for the Trip

We had a quiet night other than the babbling brook behind my site. I walked to the "Moose Pond" at 7:00AM, but no moose. I did get to watch one of the airplanes take off on the dirt strip at the resort. By the way, if you use the outhouse, be sure to bring a flashlight. When the door is closed, it is pitch dark inside.

We saw a couple of moose along the Chena Hot Springs road. Since it is a fairly narrow road we dropped Anne & Nancy off to take a photo of the first one, but by the time they got back to the pond, it was gone. We finally found a place to turn around, went back to get them, than continued on. We were luckier on the second attempt. We found a quick turn around, and the moose was still there when we got back. I got a couple of photos before she ran off. The next turn around was interesting - I didn't quite make it in the dirt road going to a boat ramp & turned so sharp one of the weight distribution spring bars fell off - the turn was sharp enough that the bar ended up at the loading notch. After putting it back on, we drove to the launch area to turn around. A very rough, potholed road, but everything stayed in the cabinets.

On the way back to Fairbanks we took the Steese Highway a few miles north of the Chena Hot Springs Road to see a section of the Alaskan Pipeline that had some displays & parking to view the pipe. In Fairbanks we stopped at REI for some socks & shoes, etc, then went across the street to Safeway for Bubba Burgers. I've missed them - we haven't been able to find them since we ran out in Canada.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Our next stop was at North Pole, AK, about 15 miles south of Fairbanks. We stopped at the Santa Claus Store, a serious tourist trap. I bought a couple of cards to mail to the grandkids.

Because it is a Saturday, we decided not to stretch the miles until late in the day, although I suspect weekenders might be looking for something else to do - it has been raining all day. In any case, we stopped around 3:00 at the "C" Lazy Moose RV Park. We are in sites 13 & 14, full hookup sites for $38.00 each. While they advertise free WiFi, it isn't available at our sites. I'll check later (if the rain stops) or in the morning as we leave to post the page.

I'm not sure what dinner will be; probably depends on whether the rain stops.

Until an internet connection -

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chena Hot Springs, AK

Chena Hot Springs
Friday, July 17, 2015, Chena Hot Springs, AK, -114.9 Miles Today, 5460.4 Miles for the Trip

Just a little bit of rain overnight that stopped well before we packed up to head out. By the way, I strongly recommend Nenana RV Park for those who don't need a resort for their stay. Inexpensive, beautiful bathrooms & showers, including supplying a bathmat for your shower. They have inexpensive washers & dryers, and even keep a bottle of liquid laundry soap that is available for $.50 per load. We also enjoyed out chat with the owner.

We stopped at Walmart in Fairbanks, as well as a bank for more laundry quarters, and a Verizon store to find out why I could see Verizon hotspots working in campgrounds where mine wouldn't show a cell connection. They replaced my SIM card - we will see if that makes a difference.

After that it was 60 miles to Chena Hot Springs Resort. While it probably can get away with the term "Resort" in the hotel & restaurant end of the business, the campground is anything but. Dry camping on dirt sites, although our sites (7 & 8) are backed by a pretty stream. No showers or flush toilets except in the locker room for the hot spring ($13.00 for seniors, $15.00 for adults), a long walk from the campsites. Still, you can't argue with the price - $20.00 per site.

The hot spring is very pleasant and well worth visiting. Warm enough at 105°F, but no so hot you can't stand to stay in it. They have two hot tubs, an indoor pool mostly filled with kids, and an adults only outdoor pond with chest deep water with a gravel bed. The grounds are full of flowers, herb & vegetable gardens, an Ice Museum (we didn't take the tour) and a pond that had a full grown bull moose standing in it as we went to register for the campsites. Of course we didn't have out cameras, and when we went back all that was left was some moose poop & a footprint.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was leftovers - Chili, chicken & corn on the cob along with a raspberry merlot wine that some of us liked, but I thought it tasted like carbonated Koolaid!

This won't get posted until tomorrow. There is no WiFi in the campground, and although I can see a cell tower behind the spring, it doesn't seem to be either AT&T or Verizon - neither my phone or hot spot shows a signal. Added - I'm now in North Pole, AK and am able to post.

Until an internet connection -

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nenana RV Park, Nenana, AK

Our Last View of Mt McKinley in the Park
Thursday, July 16, 2015, Nenana RV Park, Nenana, AK - 93.6 Miles Today, 5345.5 Miles for the Trip

Another beautiful morning, although still a bit cold overnight at 43°F. We packed up the trailers, hooked up & headed out of the park. On the way out Mt McKinley was showing in the clouds, so we stopped for a couple of photos, as well as a short stop at the start of the gravel section of the park road at the Savage Entrance Station. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We also stopped at the entrance center for Don & Anne to dump their tanks, & do a little shopping. I, of course, bought a "T" shirt. After that it was off to Nenana. We are in sites 7 & 8, water & electric sites for $29.50. We took showers & did laundry during the afternoon, then went out for dinner at the Monderosa Bar & Grill. Various forms of Halibut all around, along with the best honey mustard salad dressing I've ever had. Unfortunately, it is made by the chef & not available outside the bar.

Until next time -

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Denali National Park, AK, Day 4

A Grizzly Bear

Wednesday, July 15, 2015, Denali National Park, AK, Day 4 - 0 Miles Today, 5251.9 Miles for the Trip

We woke up to sunshine this morning, so Nancy caught an early bus to do some hiking, and Don, Anne & I took the bus to the Eielson Visitor Center. If McKinley was visible, we would catch a different but that went further to Wonder Lake, but by the time we reached the center Mt McKinley was burred in clouds.

I did see Shirley, our driver from Monday & took a photo. You definitely get a different trip with different drivers. Our driver today didn't stop for animals as often, and gave very little information about the park on the drive. In any case, we did get some good photos. A couple of the bears were closer to the bus than Monday, but there was a haze in the sky that limited distant shots, and a woman who must have been from the south of where ever she was from - it was in the 70's in the bus & she insisted we close the window in our seat across the aisle and one row behind her. She even was wearing a ski jacket & had a headband covering her ears! Still, a successful trip.
More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.
We took the return trip to the campground on the same bus, arriving a little after 4:00. I started spicing the chicken we will be having, along with corn, for dinner.

Until the next internet connection -

Denali National Park, AK, Day 3

Grizzly Bear From Yesterday
Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Denali National Park, AK, Day 3 - 0 Miles Today, 5251.9 Miles for the Trip

Not too much to say about today. It rained off & on overnight, was dry between 7:00AM & 9:00AM, then rained for the rest of the day. Most of the day both my solar panels were putting out less than .5 amps; not at 4:00 and somewhat dryer skies, close to 2 amps. In full sun I would be getting 11-12 amps. I'm currently running a deficit of about 16 amp hours.

Other than a couple of walks around the campground loop during the dryer parts of the day, I didn't do much besides sit & read. The outside temperature was/is 46°F so when the trailer cooled down to 59F, I ran the furnace to bring it back up to 63°F. It only takes a few minutes, and then 45 minutes or so to cool back to 59°F. No pictures for the day unless you want one of a rainy window!

Dinner will be spaghetti & meatballs.

Until the next internet connection -

Denali National Park, AK, Day 2

Mt McKinley

Monday, July 13, 2015, Denali National Park, AK, Day 2 - 0 Miles Today, 5251.9 Miles for the Trip

The bus ride through the park is one of the primary reasons we decided to camp at Denali (that and wanting to see the mountain, but you can do that from outside the park. Like many of the national parks, they limit driving on the park road, at least past mile 15 unless you are camping. The last two campgrounds, Igloo Creek & Wonder Lake do not allow cars - you must take the camper bus (a bus that has room at the back for gear). I can understand why they don't allow cars. The hairpin turns on the very narrow one lane road require skilled driving & like all national parks, they want to keep it as close to nature as possible.

The 8:45 bus arrived at the campground around 10:00. When you stay at a campground and purchase bus tickets, they save enough seats so there is room for you when the bus gets to the campground. There is another 60 miles of gravel road past the campground. It gets much narrower; the buses have to stop to let on coming buses squeeze by. Our driver was Sheryl Paxton, who did a wonderful job of describing the things around us as well as pointing out animals along the way. We saw Grizzly Bears, Caribou, Hares, Moose, Golden Eagles, Gyrfalcons, Ptarmigans and others. A long ride with many stops to take photos of the animals. Many of mine are very soft - they were often long distances from the road requiring enlarging even with an 80 - 400mm zoom lens, and many were shot through the bus windows. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We arrived back at the campground around 7:30 in light rain and quickly set up the EasyUp over the picnic table. Dinner was a grilled ham steak, mashed potatoes and applesauce.

Denali National Park, AK

First Moose in the Park

Sunday, July 12, 2015, Denali National Park, AK - 40.2 Miles Today, 5251.9 Miles for the Trip

Happy Birthday Don!

We are in the park, settled into the Teklanika Campground. I'm in site 40, Don, Anne & Nancy are in 37. As I expected, no cell phones, no internet, in fact no FM radio, or XM radio. A few fuzzy stations on AM, but that is it for the outside world. Nice and quiet at the campground. There are limited generator hours so it should be relaxing. Don & Anne set out the portable solar panel & even in the clouds I'm getting around 3.5 amps on the Escape's 195 Watts of panels. While I won't be able to post these until after we leave, I will do the daily updates, hopefully during the day so I can take advantage of the solar panels. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

On the way into the park we stopped first to register for the campsites (I paid for them back in December - good thing since all the campgrounds in the park are full). After that it was a relatively smooth drive for the first 15 miles to the ranger station. There they check that you have a pass for the campground, give you instructions for both the campground & driving on the gravel section of the road, and sent us on our way. While there are 14 miles of gravel road, for the most part it is smooth. A bit dusty, but not too washboarded. Someone coming the other way pointed out a moose in the woods. I stopped & took a few photos, and while waiting for Don to catch up after getting his instructions from the ranger, the moose came out on the road. We all got some photos.

Dinner will be a chicken thing made by Anne.

Until the next internet connection -

Saturday, July 11, 2015

McKinley RV Park & Campground, Healy, AK

A Moose
Saturday, July 11, 2015, McKinley RV Park & Campground, Healy, AK - 146.7 Miles Today, 5211.7 Miles for the Trip

It rained off & on overnight, but was nice enough to almost stop as we packed up. We stopped at a couple of Denali viewing sites listed in the Bearfoot Parks Highway Guide including the McKinley View Lodge - expensive coffee, but no view, the Denali View South - A good sign showing where the mountain would be (well is, but unseen), and the Denali View North where we had a mini fiberglass trailer convention - 2 Scamps, a Casita & my Escape. Since clouds completely hid Denali, you will have to do with some photos of the clouds where it is located, and pictures of other mountains.

After the glacier ( I don't know the name) we saw a couple of RVs & cars at the side of the road & pulled in behind them. On the other side of the road was a couple of Moose. Not the first of the trip, but the first that we could photograph.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The last 20 miles of AK 3 to the Park Road as well as much of it into Healy is torn up with long waits & "follow me" trucks to weave through the construction.

We are in sites 31 & 32 at the McKinley RV Park & Campground (although the receipt says Miners Market. In any case, $32.03 for water & 20 amp Electric. The showers are a bit rough, but since there won't be any for the next 4 days, they will do!

Dinner will be something next door to the campground at the 49th State Brewing Company.

We may be out of touch for the next 4-5 days. I don't know if there is any cell service at the Teklanika River Campground. If not, updates will have to wait until we leave the park.

Until the next internet connection -

Friday, July 10, 2015

Montana Creek Campground, Day 2 & Talkeetna, AK

First View of Mt McKinley
Friday, July 10, 2015, Montana Creek Campground, Day 2 & Talkeetna, AK - 0 Miles Today, 5065 Miles for the Trip

Since we were not moving to another campground, it was a day for a big breakfast. Hash browns, bacon, & pancakes. After breakfast we headed to Talkeetna in Don & Anne's Sienna. Another tourist trap, although a bit more authentic than the last one at Carcraft. The ice cream maker in the picture is actually powered by an electric motor, but it would have been neat to see is being turned by the John Deere motor.

Along the Talkeetna Spur we stopped for the first view of Mt McKinley, A very impressive mountain. We could catch glimpses of it along the drive, but there was no place to pull over until just outside Talkeetna. As usual, it was shrouded in clouds, but at that time we could see the tops. We drove to the Talkeetna River and by then it was completely hidden.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We hit a number of gift stores, I bought a "T" shirt, and Nancy found a replacement for a hat Len bought on a prior trip. We had pizza for lunch at the Mountain High Pizza Pie for a good white pizza.

After a short stop at Flying Squirrel Bakery & the local IGA, we headed beck to the campground. We relaxed until dinner, which was a salad & hamburgers.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Montana Creek Campground & The Musk Ox Farm

The Musk Ox Farm, Palmer, AK
Thursday, July 9, 2015, Montana Creek Campground & The Musk Ox Farm, AK - 84.7 Miles Today, 5065 Miles for the Trip

We backtracked a bit to visit the Musk Ox farm in Palmer. We took the tour through the farm, and I bought a "T" shirt. It was interesting to see & hear about the animals. More photos of the farm & our site at Montana Creek at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We made a stop in Palmer at the Fred Meyers store to replenish supplies, then continued on to mile 96.5 0f the Parks Highway, and stopped for the next two days at the Montana Creek Campground. Electric sites for $40.50 with a Good Sam's discount. No Showers, in fact, no bathrooms, just portapoties. We wanted to stay 2 days so we could visit Talkeetna. The original plan was to stay in Talkeetna, but the campgrounds there were all booked. We arrived around 3:00 & decided to make chili for dinner. Since I don't know how to make small batches, we have enough for tomorrow as well. I was missing a few ingredients, but since it was chili, it really didn't matter!

Until tomorrow -

Alaskan Trails RV & Camper Park, Wasilla, AK

Sites 49 & 50, Alaskan Trails RV & Camper Park
Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Alaskan Trails RV & Camper Park, Wasilla, AK - 37.4 Miles Today, 4980.3 Miles for the Trip

Since the plan was for a short drive today, we got a late start. Called the Alaskan Trails RV & Camper Park to see if we could get a site at 11:00AM, and they said no problem. We spent the morning doing laundry, then sat around reading until dinner. A bit chilly when the wind came up since it was fairly cloudy, but at least it didn't rain.

The only photo for the day is the campsites, 49 & 50 @ $27.00 with a Good Sam's discount. Full hookups. The campground has WiFi, but since the Verizon coverage is good & fast, I didn't try the campground WiFi.

Dinner was spaghetti & meatballs with the left over ribs from last night.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Crow Creek Mine & Chugach State Park, Eagle River, AK

A Building at Crow Creek Mine
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Chugach State Park, Eagle River, AK - 73 Miles Today, 4942.9 Miles for the Trip

On the way back to Anchorage we made a stop at the Crow Creek Mine. We never saw the mine, but did tour a bunch of old buildings and walked to the creek where I tried panning for gold. No luck but it was fun. The Toohey family runs the operation today, preserving the buildings and providing an opportunity for those interested in learning about gold panning, mining, and such. There was a bus full of kids there during our visit. On the way back from the mine we spotted a black bear at the side of the road. By the time I got my camera out of the back seat, all I was able to get was a photo of its backside!

After that it was a short stop at the Kendall Toyota to see if I needed work on my rear door. Yesterday I tried to close it & it wouldn't. The latch closed while the door was open, making it impossible to close the door. I pried the latch open with my Leatherman, and it seems to be working, but I wanted to get it checked. The service manager looked at it & decided that there was little they could do without a couple of days & that it would probably be OK for the time being.

We decided to make a short day of it since we are ahead of schedule getting to Denali, so we stopped for the day at a state park just north of Anchorage. We are in sites 40 & 41, dry camping for $20.00. The first thing I did was check to see if yesterday's LakeshoreImages page posted. While it looked as if I did get the photos & pages posted around 7:00AM this morning, I couldn't check it because the WiFi was so slow I couldn't use my browser to check. I also was unable to upload the Blogger page this morning, so I added it. Today's photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While grilling some boneless pork ribs for dinner, someone stopped by and mentioned a bear was breaking open a cooler left out in a campsite below ours. We kept an eye out, but didn't have a visit, at least during dinner. Dessert (ice cream cones) was a different matter. A mama bear & two cubs ambled along across the road. I didn't have my camera. but Nancy got a picture. They didn't pay any attention to us, but eventually ran across the campground.

After dinner we sat around until it got too cold for me & I headed in to post today's page. I have to make it a quick one - the laptop was down to 18% battery when I started charging it; it is now up to 70%, but the trailer battery is down 12 amp hours. When charging & operating, the 17" MacBookPro draws as much as 9 amps @ 12V...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Portage RV Park, Girdwood, and Whittier, AK

Exit Glacier
Monday, July 6, 2015, Portage RV Park, Girdwood, and Whittier, AK - 98.5 Miles Today, 4869.9 Miles for the Trip

A short drive to the Exit Glacier stop in Kenali Fjords National Park. We did a short (.9 mile) hike to the foot of the glacier. They have signs along the way noting where the glacier was during various years. For the 1800's, the signs are on the road, not the trail.

After the glacier, we drove to Girdwood & the Portage RV Park. Water & electric sites for $45.00 (they are the only RV park in tha area that has hookups). They don't even have bathrooms; just portapotties, although they do have free showers. WiFi is advertised, I was able to connect, but no luck so far posting photos or todays update. I did get my email...

After setting up, we headed for our goal for the day, a visit to Whittier. For a long time the only way to Whittier was either by boat. It is on Prince William Sound. During WWII they built the 2 1/2 mile Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel so it could be accessed from the mainland by train. All this was done so it could become a "secret" port during the war.

In 2000, they adapted the tunnel so that motor vehicles could drive through. Since it is only one railroad car wide, traffic is one way, and scheduled during the day to accommodate traffic each way as well as trains. This is the longest combined train/passenger vehicle tunnel in North America.

Two large buildings were constructed, the 14 story Begich Towers, which is now a condominium that houses most of the population as well as the post office, city hall, medical center etc. The Buckner Building, now abandoned, was the largest building in Alaska when it was constructed in the 1950's.

We wandered around Whittier, including a drive to the runoff stream from the ice field above the town. We were lucky on the way out of town - no line for the tunnel. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We are still thinking about dinner. It is almost too windy to cook outside, so it may be a meal of leftovers or soup.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Millers Landing Campground, Seward, AK

The "Dallas" Site, Millers Landing, Seward, AK
Sunday, July 5, 2015, Millers Landing Campground, Seward, AK - 129 Miles Today, 4771.4 Miles for the Trip

Happy Birthday to my daughter Karin, and Welcome back to the US from her 4 year stay in Botswana!

We packed up and headed back north on AK 1, and switched to AK 9, the Seward Highway near Moose Pass. We are in some "interesting" sites at Millers landing in Seward. The campground is at the end of a long gravel road, and has sites in the woods that are the most unlevel I've camped in since a site at Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park, CA. My front tire of the RAV4 is 5" in the air sitting on a tree root, and the right wheel of the trailer is sunken 4" in the mud (which is good, because the 5" that the Anderson Leveler can adjust for wouldn't have been enough without the other wheel sinking). The site was $38.11 for electric only (more on that later), and the showers require nonrefundable tokens at $1.00 each for 2 minutes. At least they are close to the sites. While Don's site has it's own 30 amp receptacle, mine has two 30 amp receptacles that are fed by one 30 amp breaker (and yes, there is someone in the other site using the other half of the 30 amps). Hope we both don't try to run electric heat tonight!

There is another Scamp in the campground that is in one of the waterfront sites. While a bunch of them are empty, they were not available for us. There is WiFi, however it keeps disconnecting from the internet, so I'm not sure I will be able to load today's photos & page. The last attempt managed to upload one small image before dropping the internet connection.

Well, the internet is back & I'm posting this before it goes away again!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be goulash.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Alaskan Angler RV Resort, Ninilchik, AK, Day 2

An Interesting Ship
Saturday, July 4, 2015, Alaskan Angler RV Resort, Ninilchik, AK, Day 2 - 0 Miles Today, 4642.4 Miles for the Trip

Happy 4th of July!

Another late start, but mostly because we didn't have to move sites today. We had a blueberry pancake breakfast made with the left over blueberries from making the pie yesterday. We cooked & ate under Don & Anne's awning since it was raining.

After breakfast we hung out in the trailers, reading, and relaxing. The plan was to head back to Homer for a early fish dinner. We arrived around 4:00. While it rained most of the way, there was less fog on the bay, at least viewed from the top of the hill, so I took a panorama. As usual, there is a large 2.2MB version available. On the front of the Homer Spit is a ship graveyard. One of them is "interesting" so I took a photo. Those are the only pictures for the day. The panorama is available at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was at Captain Pattie's Fish House. I had grilled Halibut, which was excellent.

Until tomorrow.

Alaskan Angler RV Resort, Ninilchik, AK

The Foggy View Entering Homer, AK
Friday, July 3, 2015, Alaskan Angler RV Resort, Ninilchik, AK - 44 Miles Today, 4642.4 Miles for the Trip

We got a late start since we were only going about 50 miles. The plan was to stop at a Walmart we passed on the way to last nights campground, but our Gamins found a short cut to get to Ninilchik that bypassed the Walmart.

After setting up in sites 3 & 5 at the Alaskan Angler RV Resort - $43.57 per night with the Good Sam discount for full hookups, we headed to Homer to explore.

The view from the viewpoint at the top of the hill going into Homer is beautiful. The photos don't do it justice since it was quite foggy, but the mountains across the bay are impressive. We drove to the end of the Homer Spit, took a couple photos, did a little shopping, then headed back to the campground. On the way we stopped at the Homer Safeway & got the stuff we were going to get at Walmart.

Back at the campground I made a blueberry pie that we ate half of for dessert. Dinner was tacos. It was a bit difficult putting dinner together with a trailer between our sites, but the campground was crowded; we were lucky to get sites for two nights. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I;m using the campground WiFi - while I see a couple of Verizon hotspots pumping out WiFi, mine can't find a signal, even with the amplifier. Not sure why, but the campgrounds is fast enough to load the photos so I'm happy.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Beluga Lookout Lodge & RV Park, Kenai, AK

Don, Anne & Nancy at Beluga Lookout
Thursday, July 2, 2015, Beluga Lookout Lodge & RV Park, Kenai, AK - 149.6 Miles Today, 4598.4 Miles for the Trip

After packing up the trailer, Don & Anne went to pick up Nancy. We headed south to Kenai on AK 1. A pretty drive, although a bit of light rain along the way. We did a couple of photos at a potty break, and arrived at the campground early afternoon. We are in sites 24 & 25 at the Beluga Lookout Lodge & RV Park. Full hookups for $46.75 with a Good Sam discount. A great view form the park, at least if you are in the front row of sites. We aren't, but is is a nice park. Finding anything this close to the 4th is a bit difficult - we were planning to spend the next two days in Homer, but every reservable site in town is already booked. We will be a couple of towns north of Homer.

After setting up, we made a trip into town for some food & beer. As usual, what started out as a two item stop filled a cart. On the other hand, we will be making a blueberry pie for tomorrow or Saturday so the extras are not too bad. A few more pictures at today's LakeshoreImages post.

Dinner was hot sausage for Don & cheese brots for the rest of us, along with corn on the cob.

Until next time -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Creekwood Inn, Anchorage, AK Day 2

An Eagle
Wednesday, July 1, 2015, Creekwood Inn, Anchorage, AK Day 2, 0 Miles Today, 4449.1 Miles for the Trip

We all slept in this morning - I didn't make breakfast until 10:00. After finally getting our acts together, we went our separate ways, Don & Anne to find a plug for their water heater and a car wash, and me for a haircut & a car wash. Don's sister Nancy is kayaking today - we will pick her up tomorrow morning.

An interesting haircut. The barber must have a hobby of collecting electric clippers. My usual haircut involves 2 electric clippers, one with a #3 guide to do most of the head, and a small "buzz" trimmer for around the ears, etc. This guy used no less than 5 different electric clippers, working his way to finer & finer ones. The haircut looks fine, but it was a project!

After we both got back to the campground we decided to go find a Anchorage moose. There are a couple of parks that are suppose to have them so we went looking. While Don & Anne have seen 4 moose (no photos - they flashed by while on the road) I missed all of them. Our first stop was at Kincaid Park. Somewhere it said there were 1500 moose in the park, but none came out to play. We did see some kids riding bikes at the motocross part of the park, along with some distance eagle shots.

The next stop was Earthquake park. Again, no moose, but a pretty walk, with some history of the big 1964 earthquake. Out last stop was at a park at the point next to the airport. No moose, but we did get to watch the jets taking off over our heads.

We make a quick stop at the Carrs (Anchorage's Safeway) for some supplies & found they had hot fried chicken on sale, which along with some fried rice, became dinner.

Until next time -

Creekwood Inn, Anchorage, AK

Thunderbird Falls

Tuesday, June 30, 2015, Creekwood Inn, Anchorage, AK, 62.9 Miles Today, 4449.1 Miles for the Trip

A short drive to Anchorage this morning to meet Don's sister, who is flying in from Syracuse to join us for a couple of weeks. We looked up the various campgrounds in the city, and although none of them were ideal, we settled on the Creekwood Inn. The smallest, most compact sites we have had on the trip. While the bathrooms are clean, nice showers, and full hookups, at $41.40 per night, it isn't cheap. Then again, the reviews for the other parks didn't have a lot good to say about any of them, and some were more expensive. In any case, we are here two days. We are in sites 18 & 19.

After setting up, we drove back along the Glenn Highway to Thunderbird Falls. An easy 1 mile hike, but not the most picturesque falls we've seen. There isn't a good location for a photograph, however I did the best I could from the viewing platform at the end of the hike.

Don's sister arrived around 5:00 & we picked her up at the Long House Hotel, and went to dinner at Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant. Good food, but expensive, as are all the restaurants in Alaska. I had Halibut & fries, very good, but hardly worth $26.00.

Until next time -